PAGE 11 MAZINA’IGAN WINTER 2018-2019 • MANOOMIN • years. This has spurred management agencies to initiate stocking in both of these lakes. Overall, most namegos populations appear to be stable or increasing in Lake Superior, but declining in inland Ceded Territory lakes. Namegos was not as frequently mentioned as other beings/species in TEK interviews. However, some mentioned the existence of specific places related to namegos, likely because of a story relating to that area or the presence of namegos. Gaa-namegosikaang (Chicagon Lake), east of Watersmeet, Michigan, is known as the place of namegos. Summary of climate threats: Namegos was in the 56th percentile relative to other fish in the vulnerability assessment. Relative to other beings/species in the vulnerability assessment, namegos was in the 84th percentile. The following factors increased its vulnerability to climate change: natural and anthropogenic barriers (e.g., low oxygen zones, effluent), thermal niche (loss of coolwater habitat), hydrological niche (less precipitation), disturbance regime (wind and waves can damage eggs), restriction to uncommon landscapes (spawns on shallow, rocky bars), sensitivity to natural enemies (susceptible to sea lamprey attacks), competition (smallmouth bass might outcompete namegos for food), and a loss of genetic variation (Figure 6). Factors that increase namegos’s vulnerability to climate change: Natural barriers: Low dissolved oxygen concentrations may limit dispersal/vertical movements in inland waterbodies, but might not be barrier to dispersal in Lake Superior. Anthropogenic barriers: Changes in the watershed (e.g., effluent from septic systems) can result in eutrophication and low-oxygen zones. These zones might act as barriers to dispersal. Physiological thermal niche: Lean and siscowet namegos are consider coldwater fish with a preferred temperature of 50°F and 39.2°F, respectively. As water temperature increases, both types of namegos are expected to seek deeper, cooler habitats. Most recent analyses indicate lean namegosag have experienced an increase in preferred thermal habitat of 6 days, while siscowet namegosag have experienced a loss in preferred thermal habitat of 3 days. Historical hydrological niche: The area that namegos occupies has experienced slightly lower than average variation in precipitation in the past 50 years. Disturbance regime: The intensity and frequency of severe weather is predicted to increase in the future. Wind and wave action associated with severe weather might damage or displace eggs on relatively shallow reefs. Uncommon landscape features: Namegos is restricted to spawning on shallow rocky bars that have little silt. Loss of these spawning reefs could negatively affect reproduction and recruitment. Pathogens or natural enemies: The introduction of sea lamprey into the Great Lakes resulted in a decrease in namegos populations. White sucker mortality rates increase when sea lamprey feed on them at elevated temperatures. Similarly, namegosag that are hosts to sea lamprey might experience higher mortality rates as water temperature increases in the future. Competition: Pacific salmon, steelhead, and smallmouth bass compete for food resources with namegos. Smallmouth bass, a warmwater being/species, is predicted to be favored under future environmental conditions. Genetic variation: A substantial loss of genetic diversity occurred when many populations of namegos were extirpated or severely depressed in the mid-1900s. SI Increase This factor increases vulnerability Somewhat Increase This factor somewhat increases vulnerability Neutral/Somewhat Increase This factor may not increase or may somewhat increase vulnerability I Legend SI N/SI SI/I I/GI GI Somewhat Increase/Increase This factor may somewhat increase or increase vulnerability Greatly Increase This factor greatly increases vulnerability Increase/Greatly Increase This factor may increase or greatly increase vulnerability SI I N/SI N/SI SI SI SI SI Namegos continued (continued from page 5) By Paula Maday, Staff Writer On a humid September day, 4th graders from Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School set out on Totagatic Lake near Cable to harvest some of the good seed— manoomin. Two-by-two, they loaded into the canoes and paddled out onto the water, disappearing amidst high stalks of the aquatic grass. To me, the crop looked pretty good, but it was my first experience ricing on that lake. In talking with GLIFWC Wildlife Biologist Peter David, I learned that manoomin growth on Totagatic Lake has been a mixed bag over the years. Aerial photos from 2016 show rice growth on the lake as virtually non-existent. The crop was better in 2017, and 2018—though he says was “a little below average”—was still okay. Nutrient cycling can account for some changes on wild rice waters from year to year, but one of the biggest factors that contribute to variances on Totagatic is water level. The lake is susceptible to high water levels that can affect wild rice growth. Historically, beaver activity at the lake has affected water levels even further. GLIFWC now partners with Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to manage beaver activity on that lake. This year though, students were able to take advantage of a decent crop, bending and knocking Ojibwe spirit food into their canoes. It is a tradition that has become part of the school’s regular curriculum, and over the course of the week, the entire school made it out to harvest, part of its philosophy to incorporate the wisdom and beauty of Ojibwe heritage along with the knowledge and skills to succeed in a more technological society. Four days later, at the close of the season, Bad River youth from Ashland High School headed to nearby Pacwawong Lake, to rice. For this group, it was the second year of a new tradition they hope takes root for future classes. For many of the students, last year was their first experience ricing. This year, it was apparent that the students had grown in comfort and confidence in this traditionalAnishinaabe harvesting activity, gathering close to 60 lbs. of manoomin in a day. AtAshland’s Fall Fest a few weeks later, that comfort and confidence was on full display as the same group demonstrated activities associated with ricing, includ- ing making ricing sticks, parching, dancing, winnowing, and hand cleaning the rice. As fellow students explored the demonstrations, high schoolers took the initiative in explaining the different activities and inviting them to join in. It was heartwarming to see traditions being carried forward by youth who just two years ago knew very little about harvesting wild rice. Pacwawong, always a very popular lake for ricing, had a similar few years to Totagatic. In 2016, the crop was poor, though not as bad as Totagatic. 2017 and 2018 yielded a good crop, especially 2018. According to Peter David, Pacwawong tends to be a little more consistent than Totagatic, “likely because of the greater water flow through the system, which delivers more nutrients every year.” Either way, youth treaty ricing on this pair of Cable- area lakes was successful yet another year. Treaty youth ricing on a pair of popular lakes Students and staff of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School paddled around Totagatic Lake on September 4th to harvest manoomin—the good seed. Totogatic lake is susceptible to high water levels that can affect wild rice growth. 2017 and 2018 harvest has been a little below average. (P. Maday photo) Gunnar Crowe (Bad River) helps an Ashland student parch wild rice at Lake Superior Elementary School’s Fall Fest September 27th. (P. Maday photo)